I am easily distracted by things. I want to try to be organized and focused, but my mind wanders often. It used to bother me deeply. Somehow I equated wandering mind with wandering heart. Envy of others, ‘have it all together’ was a syndrome I fed continuously.
And then one day, someone accused me of the same thing I envied in others. That was a funny conversation, actually, but it opened the door to an authentically real moment I have never forgotten.
The fear of not fitting in, of not belonging to the good things, of chasing holiness instead of recognizing the holy ground right under my feet was often a consistent issue I found myself facing. It left me missing out on something even better than all those things I thought I needed really were. Like the beauty of being broken with others well, of recognizing the cultivated ground that imperfection provides, or of nurturing hope in the atmosphere of grace. Sometimes I still forget the power of belonging solely to Christ. Of really remembering I am His.
“Vision is the art of seeing things invisibly.” – Jonathon Swift
When we forget that we are all imperfect we miss the amazing gift of authenticity with others. Sometimes when we are hurting for our false ideals, we break the fragile bonds that are meant to thrive in our differences and grow strong together through weaknesses.
Authenticity is more than being real, it is being wholly you…cracks and scars and glory and wonder and gifts and all. And it is being a person who embraces the same in others, in grace…in love…in hope, willing to walk with them in the fire, sit with them in the breaking, and cheer with them in the winning.
Much like this grace journey we’re on, authentically living life for real, learning to love each other well, healing one another’s wounds by grace ,and building each other up collectively with faith is a visible reminder that we belong to something more and bigger and loftier than our hearts can sometimes take in.
And you are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.- 1 Corinthians 3:23
What if we believed this?
Truly think about the ramifications of that kind of audaciously bold confession, friend.
Because if we really take this to heart, honest and truly own it as our own admission, then it should change everything.
If we let down our need to be perfect but embrace who we are In Christ, then perhaps we can let go of those things that have been tripping us up for so long, stealing purpose, breaking hope, and limiting joy.
If we our Christ’s, then we are Gods and we can let go of:
….our worry over belonging.
…our concern of not enough.
…our jealous envy of others.
…our empty praise of people.
…our hurtful words of loss.
…our well aimed arrows of destruction.
…our confessions of less than.
…our weakened faith.
…our idle prayers.
Here is the thing… if we truly belong to Christ, iff we truly believe our status IN Him is where we abide and were we live and move and have our being, then we are most assuredly altered by that knowledge.
We are changed by the perceiving and remade by the accepting.
And isn’t that a part of salvation’s work in us? Being known by God and then coming to know His Love.
Know. Believe. Accept.
If you declare with your mouth, ” Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and ar justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.- Romans 10:9-10
The Roman’s Road tells us more than how to get to God. It tells us how to live with Him, how to abide and exist and flourish in Him, how to put Christ on with every single step. It reminds us to live authentic lives on purpose… for Jesus, for others, and for us.
Living authentically crucifies our flesh. And living authentically with people, being down-to-earth real together, is messy. Our spirit may be remade, but our skin needs to be broken and swept away to make room for the renovation of our souls. It takes work and faith and a whole-lotta grace.
Being whole-heart real with God is refining work. But it is worth it. Being whole-heart real with one another is grace work, and I am learning it, too, is worth it. Because our imperfections are the soil of his love. They reveal the ultimate nature of a forgiving loving perfect Father who makes much out of the little we have to give and looks past what we see as faults and instead sees gifts.
“Earth is crammed with heaven. And every common bush afire with God; but only he who sees, takes off his shoes. The rest sit around it and pick blackberries.” – Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Refined hearts have been sifted from the ash and the chaff our sanctified souls have left behind on the Calvary Road we are walking. They belong to the people who see burning bushes and take off shoes to stand on holy ground.
The gift He gives, the love-light He shines within. The remnant of seeking holiness and the wonder of looking for grace in it all, is meant to set us free. And those pieces of us, the ones we label not good enough or broken and less than, are perfectly prepared for the fullness of Christ to redeem. As we welcome him, and ultimately welcome others to see him there, His glory resides in the breaking that we reveal to a world aching to say … me too.
Your circumstances, trials, difficulties, imperfections can be the way we touch the world. You don’t have to hide behind a facade of unrealistic in order to qualify for grace. You don’t have to pretend you have to get better at one thing in order to be better acquainted with acceptance and victory. You don’t have to hide your testimony of what He has done in you because you think someone else’s is better. Because ultimately, your cracks are the windows for the world to see Him. His light reveals what He has known about you from the beginning.
It’s like she had a magnifying glass held right up to my heart and a was getting updates from my prayer bench as I read through her story about being #animperfectwoman.
Of course her open sincerity and honest admission that she struggles with all the same things I struggle with endeared her to me at once. But it is the genuine love for the Lord that wooed my heart and began a process of healing in my soul in areas I sort of forgot were wounded.
As I was thinking about what I wanted to share this week, I realized perhaps this line in her book has kept coming back to me over and over,”…humanity longs for solidarity.” I realized, yet again, how we are all battling a similar war; contending with a reckless enemy, but fighting with a conquering victor. Because In Christ we have a most decisive edge against the world and our worries.
Don’t let the arrows of imperfection win against your soul.
Recognize where they are being launched and return grace out of the spiritually sanctified remade foundation.
Lay those wounds and all the wounded you find on the cross of His love.
Grace allows healing to be administered. Whether it is in the words of a writer who found freedom from perfection through the trials she overcame in Him, or through the realization of His love bathing every moment of your journey, or the wonder of finding holiness in the burning bush of our desert spaces.
When grace rises up and meets you in your imperfections, may you see all you are In Christ instead.
If you haven’t read Kim’s book, An Imperfect Woman, you need to. I would love to give away a Kindle copy to one of my readers just in time for the book study that starts on February 12th. All you have to do is answer this question in the comments:
How have you met grace in the journey to overcome the need to be perfect and have learned to embrace the freedom of being imperfect?
IT’S YOUR TURN TO BE A GRACE COUNTER! SHARE YOUR GRACE MOMENT IN THE COMMENTS BELOW AND THEN COUNT GRACE WITH A FRIEND WITH COMMENT ON A BLOG OR TWO.
If you are a blogger, link up here with a post about finding grace moments in your life or one of your favorite inspiring and encouraging posts from this week. Share your thoughts in the comment section telling me about the #Grace Moments you experienced this week. *(only 1 post per link please)*
Take time to visit your neighbor next to you, and if you want visit a few more friends on the journey. We all need a little encouragement and affirmation as we travel together.
If you don’t have a blog, you can connect with me via my Journeys in Grace FB page by sharing a photo or a comment. Or you can join the party by sharing your images on Instagram with #Gracemoments hashtag.
Each week I will try visit as many of your amazing posts as I can.This is a safe place to sit and dwell in grace together, friends. I can’t wait to pour a cup of friendship with you and take in the grace moments you have to share. Don’t forget to leave a comment below, I love to hear from you.